Biometric Residence Permits (BRP)

I’m sure ‘BRP’ must be an acronym you’ve seen thrown around quite a few times in the many Facebook forums dedicated to helping you achieve your journey to the UK. It would only make sense to breakdown just what the BRP is, how to collect it, and other important information regarding it. First things first:

What is a BRP?

It’s the Biometric Residence Permit which allows you to stay in the UK and shows evidence of the your immigration permission(s). You will need it in the following situations:

  • Applying to come to the UK for longer than 6 months
  • Extending your visa to longer than 6 months
  • Applying to settle in the UK

What information does it contain?

Your BRP will include:

  • Your name, date and place of birth
  • Your fingerprints and a photo of your face
  • Your immigration status and any conditions of your stay
  • Whether you can access public funds (like benefits and health services)

You may have a National Insurance (NI) number printed on the back of your BRP. Not all BRPs have this – it depends on factors like the date it was issued and your visa status.

You’ll be asked to provide your fingerprints and photo (‘biometric information’) as part of your visa or immigration application. You need to:

  • have a digital photo taken of your face
  • put your fingers on a glass screen to be scanned
  • give your signature, or say why you can’t give it

The process takes less than 5 minutes and doesn’t involve any ink or mess. You won’t need to take off your head covering if you wear it for religious or medical reasons.

Please note that if you have henna on your hands, you will not be able to proceed with submission of your fingerprints, and will have to rebook for a time after which the henna has faded.

If you child is applying with you:

Children under 16 must be accompanied by a parent, guardian or someone over 18 who has legal responsibility for them.

Children don’t need to give their signature. They don’t need to give their fingerprints if they’re:

  • under 6 and applying from inside the UK
  • under 5 and applying from outside the UK

Why do I need it?

You can use your BRP to confirm your:

  • Identity
  • Right to study or work in the UK
  • Right to any public services or benefits you’re entitled to

Where do I go?

Where you give your biometric information depends on how you’re making your Tier 2 visa or immigration application.

If you’re applying from within the UK, go to:

If you’re outside the UK, apply at a visa application center. If you’re applying to extend your stay, you must be in the UK to provide your biometric information. You must pay £19.20 when you give your biometric information at a Post Office branch, otherwise the cost is included in your application fee.

How do I collect my BRP?

  1. If you’ve applied within the UK, your BRP will be sent to you by courier. You don’t need to collect it.
  2. If you’ve applied from outside the UK: Collect your BRP once you’re in the UK. You must do this before your vignette expires or within 10 days of arriving in the UK, whichever is later. Check your decision letter. It will tell you to collect your BRP from either:
    • a named Post Office branch
    • your sponsor, if you chose this option when you applied for the visa
  3. Bring your passport or travel document with your vignette sticker (Entry clearance) in when you collect your BRP. You can even bring the decision letter stating where to pick it up if you have it with you.
  4. If you’re unsure about whether or not your BRP has arrived and the Post Office is far from where you stay, you can always call and ask if it has come, and then plan your trip accordingly.

What if I can’t get my BRP?

Tell the Home Office if you can’t collect your BRP for any reason, such as:

  • You went to collect it from the Post Office and it wasn’t there
  • You’ve lost your passport or travel document, or can’t prove your identity
  • You don’t know which Post Office to go to because you’ve lost your decision letter

The Home Office will email you within 5 working days to tell you what to do next.

When do I email to say my BRP hasn’t arrived?

You can report online if your BRP hasn’t arrived if:

  • You’ve applied from inside the UK
  • Your decision letter from the Home Office saying that you can remain in the UK arrived more than 10 days ago

You’ll need the following information to report a missing BRP:

  • your full name, date of birth, and nationality
  • an email or postal address
  • your decision letter

My BRP has a mistake on it!

If there’s a problem with your BRP when it arrives, report it within 10 days. Otherwise you may have to apply and pay for a replacement. Examples include but are not limited to:

  • Your name, gender, or date of birth is wrong
  • Your BRP was damaged when it arrived
  • The duration of stay is incorrect

You’ll need to have the following:

  • your BRP number
  • your full name, date of birth and nationality as they appear on your BRP
  • an email or postal address

Contact the Home Office and they will help you fix the problem.

Can I travel on my BRP?

Yes. Do not, under any circumstances, travel without your BRP. It is proof of your immigration permission, and you are required to show this in order to travel to and re-enter the UK.

What do I show at immigration?

You will need to show the following:

  • Your passport with the visa
  • Your decision letter from the Home office
  • Evidence of funds (if you’re showing your own)
  • Evidence of TB clearance (if needed)

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Aside from this, you should be all set when you enter the UK. Good luck!

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